Liverpool sat on their hands in January as Chelsea put in ‘some effort’ to break the British transfer record but Jude Bellingham is coming…
Spot the difference. pic.twitter.com/pA72ovlVvH
— GoalScorer Challenge ⚽️ (@GoalscorerC) February 1, 2023
This is what happens when there are a lot of people at Chelsea you don’t want to p*** off.
Chelsea ‘worked tirelessly’ and put in ‘some effort’ indeed to pay slightly more than Enzo Fernandez’s release clause in order to secure a player Benfica bought for £8.8m just five months ago.
The Daily Telegraph‘s Matt Law did not stop there, writing: ‘Co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali led negotiations with Benfica from London on transfer deadline day and refused to take no for an answer during more than 12 hours of negotiations to clinch a deal that awaited confirmation, but will push Premier League spending over £800 million in January.’
What a hero.
Wot no goals?
So what do we know of Enzo Fernandez and his style? We saw in the World Cup that he is calm in possession and strong in the tackle and allies energy and intelligence in a deep midfield role. Or…
‘Chelsea could end up paying as much as £110m with extras for a player who has scored only two goals this season,’ say The Sun.
Stand on the word
We learn from the Mirror website that ‘Pep Guardiola went back on his word after blocking last-ditch Barcelona transfer’.
Yep, pretty sure Guardiola’s “when you don’t want to stay and want to leave, you cannot stay” schtick applies to approaches made for key first-team players like Bernardo Silva literally on the last day of the window.
For whom the Bell toils again
But now the transfer window is shut, and if you’re a Liverpool fan, it’s time to start looking towards the summer, when the sun will shine again.
‘Liverpool transfer news LIVE – Jude Bellingham race, Moises Caicedo chance, Ibrahima Konate injury’
It’s all going to be brilliant! They are in the Jude Bellingham ‘race’! They have a ‘chance’ of signing Moises Caicedo!
So what of this Bellingham race that Liverpool look very unlikely to win unless they qualify for the Champions League?
What do the Liverpool Echo report?
‘Real Madrid are set to rival Liverpool in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham, however they don’t want to get into a bidding war, it has been said.
‘According to reports in Spain, Los Blancos are hoping the 19-year-old continues his stint abroad and swaps Dortmund for Madrid. His future remains uncertain after enjoying a stellar campaign in Germany before jetting off to the World Cup with England and being one of the standout members of Gareth Southgate’s side.
‘AS say that Carlo Ancelotti’s side know they need to make a big investment if they are to land one of the Three Lions’ hottest prospects, said to priced around £132m.
‘Real Madrid are reportedly willing to match that figure but it has been claimed they’re not willing to pay any more.’
What the Liverpool Echo choose not to report from AS:
‘Today everything remains the same: Bellingham thinks that the best thing for his career is to play outside the Premier. Paradoxical, because he would have everything to return to England and be treated as the national idol in almost all fields.
‘But it’s not what he wants: as a kid he left Birmingham for Dortmund to carve out a future. And he continues in that thesis; sweat away from Buckingham. This scenario makes Real Madrid the great favorite to get their services.’
Feels like they might be losing the ‘race’. But then there’s a ‘chance’ of Moises Caicedo so all is not lost. Let’s just not mention that Brighton might well be in European competition next season and Liverpool not.
But for now…whoop whoop and all that.
No Champions League, no problem
Mind you, we should stop saying that Liverpool might struggle to sign the best players in the world if they’re not in the Champions League because the Liverpool Echo have already addressed that issue this week:
‘Another question that keeps getting thrown around is what happens if Liverpool do not qualify for the Champions League? Well, that is a huge possibility, but Jurgen Klopp has in the past said he does not want players who only sign if the Reds are in the Champions League.’
Sorted. Not a problem. Done.
If the Liverpool Echo keep saying it, then people start to believe it:
‘Jude Bellingham set for stunning Liverpool move, following quiet deadline day: report’ – FourFourTwo.
It’s basically done.
‘The Liverpool Echo says that the plan is still to go for Jude Bellingham in the summer, in what they call “the worst-kept secret” in football.
‘Fabrizio Romano, meanwhile, who was a guest on the YouTube channel Born and Red on Monday evening, says that Liverpool are in pole position to land the teenager.’
What Fabrizio Romano actually said:
“So today Liverpool are leading the race but the race is still absolutely open. And when you are in the race with Real Madrid and Manchester City, it’s never a safe race until you sign the contracts.”
Nonsense, Fabrizio; Liverpool have this one in the bloody bag.